I wrote this only a few days ago, and now confirmation is coming in that it was a correct prediction.
What will happen next is that the carpet baggers will move into the Levels to buy up the land at rock bottom fire-sale prices, which is all the farmers will be able to charge now that the land has been contaminated from overflowing sewerage and their farms are virtually uninsurable. The carpet baggers will probably make a killing in selling that land on to the frackers, as it stands over a huge shale gas field which they’ve been slavering over for some time.
Greenpeace has just published this map showing fracking licences being offered for land currently under severe flooding on the Somerset Levels.
Two maps showing current flood warnings (left) and the area under consultation to be offered for oil and gas exploration (right)
Damian Kahya, the Energydesk Editor for Greenpeace, writes:
The government is likely to issue licenses to explore for oil and gas across large parts of Somerset as the area continues to be hit by the worst flooding for hundreds of years.
A spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate change (DECC) confirmed that the next round of Petroleum Exploration and Development License (PEDL) blocks will be issued ‘later this Spring’.
A map of license under consultation by the department includes the Somerset levels and many areas currently covered by severe flood warnings. Studies by the British Geological Survey published by DECC suggest parts of Somerset may be appropriate for oil or gas extraction though exploration is at a very early stage.
Flood risks would have to be considered as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) though the government’s planning guidelines suggest it may be prepared to consider developments in flood risk areas – so long as measures are in place to manage risk.
The SEA for the next licensing round notes that “as the location of [actual drilling] sites vis-à-vis areas with a high probability of flooding is unknown at this stage, it has not been possible to determine the likelihood or magnitude of effects on this objective.”
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